An Advertising Book Worth Reading

Hegarty On Advertising, Turning Intelligence in Magic is written by John Hegarty, who I would consider one of the great minds in modern advertising. His agency, BBH which started in London and now has offices in New York, Singapore and other global cities, is behind the amazing campaigns for Levi’s from the late 80’s through the early 2000s. His outlook on creative, business, clients and branding is so honest and direct that it cuts straight through all the marketing jargon that other books ply. He touches on what Bernbach taught us about modern advertising and discusses what he learned in his early career, which influenced the great work his agency does today.

Instead of continuing to describe why this book is a must read, let us just give a few excerpts:

“Always remember that all information goes through the heart. Or as James Stephens, in his book The Crock of Gold, said: ‘What the heart feels today, the head will understand tomorrow.’

“You have to accept the creative process is completely dysfunctional. If you deny that fact, you will ultimately fail.”

“Great brands that continue to be succesful are so because they don’t think like a conventional brand owner who is obsessed only with themselves and the belief that the world revolves around them and their product. The key to great marketing is never stop thinking like your audience.

“So, in true BBH style, we put the brand at the centre of the advertising, made the product the hero (in fact created a product demonstration), but wrapped it in emotional power.

As a creative, account director, planner or a client, it’s one of the best advertising books I’ve read since “Hey Whipple, squeeze this!” by Luke Sullivan.




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